Leading stakeholders in Cambodia’s Financial Technology (FinTech) sector have emphasized the increasing impact the industry has on Cambodia’s economy as well as the nations way of life launching the three-day flagship event run in collaboration with Cambodia Tech Expo 2022.
The 2022 CamTech Summit Powered by Prudential event brought together both the public and private sectors to discuss the latest initiatives, opportunities, and challenges.
Industry leaders and government officials attending the launch included:
- H.E. Vongsey Vissoth, Minister attached to the Prime Minister and Permanent Secretary of State, Ministry of Economy and Finance
- H.E. Ou Chandara, Secretary General, National Bank of Cambodia
- H.E. Chhieng Vannmunin, Chief Executive Officer, Khmer Enterprise
- Mr. Sanjay Chakrabarty, Chief Executive Officer, Prudential Cambodia
- Mr. Remi Pell, Chairman of the Cambodian Association of Finance and Technology.
- Mr. Sok Voeun, Chairman, Cambodia Microfinance Association
- H.E. Dr. Taing Ngounly, Executive Director, Techo Startup Center (TSC)
- Mr. Sopendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer, Monetary Authority of Singapore
CAFT a conduit between the private sector and public regulators
Remi Pell Chairman of CAFT launched the event stating the agenda had been masterfully crafted and curated through a solid partnership between the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the Digital Economy & Business Committee, the Techo Startup Center, and CAFT.
He added that CAFT was established in 2019 with its first full operational year in 2020, and since then we have focused on four strategic main goals that are key for tech development: collaborate, advocate, facilitate, and teach.
“Regarding our advocacy duties, we aim to continuously grow our role as a conduit between the private sector and public regulators and institutions. Considering that CAFT’s core membership is made up of Payment Service Institutions (PSI) licensed under the authority of the National Bank of Cambodia and through our PSI committee we can articulate the necessities of our sector and advocate for an effective dialogue with authorities in the search for positive solutions to those issues affecting us,” Remi said.
“The great results we are accomplished allowed us to widen our scope and include to our members not only PSIs but also many commercial banks, microfinance institutions, solution providers, social enterprises, big data, e-commerce, law firm, ICT, and of course, startups who are making CAFT stronger and more effective association every day,” he added.
According to Remi this promising road ahead, at CAFT will look forward to embracing 2023 with passion and empathy as they continue to focus on their goals and objectives of fostering an environment of higher digital financial inclusion and higher digital financial literacy. This Expo is one step ahead in that direction, he added.
Digitalization is taking place at a record level
Raymond Sia Chairman of ABC added that in Cambodia, digitalization is taking place at a record level saying in just 10 years, according to the World Bank, Mobile Cellular Subscriptions went from 57% of people in 2010 to 126% of people in 2020; meaning, nearly every Cambodian has a mobile phone and many have two.
“Technology and innovation have improved product design as well as service delivery. Banking especially has been vastly influenced by the rise of the internet and global, instantaneous connectivity. Day-to-day services are now offered through mobile applications, which make payments, transactions and any shopping experiences effortless and customer-friendly,” Raymond said.
“The financial sector has been one of the biggest contributors to the digital economy, and we remain committed to further promoting the development of FinTech, thus, contributing with the government to achieve the goals towards digital adoption and digital transformation of the Country: “Digitalized Citizens, Digital Business and Digital Government,” he added.
Raymond also said the financial sector has seen more than a 10-fold increase in digital transactions over the last 2 years through payment systems and payment providers adding transaction value has nearly 5-folded to more than $250 million a year according to ABC data.
Drive financial technology innovations
Sok Voeun Chairman of CMA said Cambodia’s financial industry under the supervision of the National Bank of Cambodia has been uplifting and going through a critical digital transformation over the last decade.
“Most noticeably in the last couple of years, the National Bank of Cambodia has implemented a number of major national interoperability platforms such as Cambodia Shared Switch (CSS) which inter-connected all ATMs together, FAST system, Retail Pay (RFT), and KHQR platform running on Blockchain Technology which allows real-time cross-banking fund transfer, payment, and settlement,” Voeun said.
He added that the NBC has always been encouraging businesses and consumers to take advantage of this KHQR system to drive financial technology innovations in the banking and financial sector in Cambodia.
“As the digital products and adaption to technology grow, knowledge on cyber security, digital literacy and financial literacy has become even more important for consumers to help them understand risks and benefits and so they can be better protected. Moreover, an improvement on infrastructure, cloud computing, data privacy, consumer protection, digital ID, e-KYC is significant to support the future growth of digital products,” he said.
Ensuring the best products and services to customers
Sanjay Chakrabarty CEO of Prudential (Cambodia) commented that Prudential has been committed to contributing to the growth of digital space in Cambodia through various initiatives, collaborations, and support.
“This ongoing support showcases our vision and belief that combining new technology with traditional financial methods in the delivery of financial services is paramount to ensuring the best products and services to our customers and the community,” he said.
“To achieve this vision Prudential Cambodia has been working in collaboration with many relevant stakeholders – many of which are present here today – to ensure this developing technology is properly implemented with best practices and processes,” he added.
According to Sanjay as Cambodia’s public and private sectors continue to digitalize under the Royal Cambodian Governments Digital Economy and Society Policy Framework 2021-2035 summits such as these to allow communication between stakeholders.
“It is vital that policy settings are right so Cambodia’s private sector can properly utilize technology and digitalization. And allow the country to emerge as a prominent player in the regional economy and achieve its ambitious aim to become an upper-middle-income economy by 2030 and a high-income economy by 2050,” he said.
Gather valuable inputs to draft FinTech policy
H.E. Vongsey Vissoth Secretary of State at the Ministry of Economy and Finance concluded by saying that through the CamTech Summit Powered by Prudential 2022 the government gathered valuable inputs to draft FinTech policy during the era of digital globalization.
“FinTech has enabled the Cambodian economy in four key ways 1) increasing competition through reducing the barrier to entry, creating new market segments, enhancing financial inclusion through various easy-to-use digital platforms and expanding the ecosystem of small and medium-sized enterprises,” he said.
“However, as digital technology continues at a rapid pace decentralized concepts such as blockchain technology and peer-to-peer transfers have caused concerns for regulators and governments. It is up to everyone to ensure this technology is used with the best intention and to minimize any potential harm,” he added.